Monthly Archives: April 2015

A Baby Story [Part II]: Week 40

Week 40: Baby’s the size of a small pumpkin

Lucia’s due date came and went and, strangely enough, as soon as April 15th was over I felt a ton less anxious about the pregnancy going on as long as it was. I decided to take advantage of the time Lucia was giving me to relax as much as possible (taking one nap a day…glorious), spending as much one-on-one time with Sirena as possible (picnic lunch at a new park, feeding the ducks at the duck pond), and walkingwalkingwalking as much as possible every single day (Lola was in doggy heaven!)

Monday, April 20 was the last full day of the pregnancy before labor began. We had what turned out to be a final prenatal appointment that morning and was met with the same disappointing news as last week’s appointment–I hadn’t yet started dilating and my cervix was still pretty high up. I got teary-eyed and the midwife was so reassuring–she said that as a second time mama things could change in an instant and that I was still just fine in terms of the length of the pregnancy and that she wasn’t getting worried yet so I shouldn’t be worried yet. Hearing the confidence she had in me gave me a ton of confidence and I left the appointment feeling hopeful.

Sirena was with Nani (my mom) that day and I was lucky in that both of my siblings randomly reached out to spend some time with me (they were in sync that day!) We went on a long walk with Lola and it felt great to catch up with the both of them. That afternoon when I went to pick up Sirena from my mom’s house I was given a really touching gift–my mom put on Bette Midler’s “Wind Beneath my Wings” and Sirena put on the most amazing interpretive dance the entire length of the song. I was so emotional listening to the words of the song and watching the innocence and the amazing way in which she expressed herself (and her kick-ass dance moves!) It was an incredible way to end the pregnancy and the era of Sirena being an only child.

Belly shot!


This final belly shot was taken on the last day of the 40th week of pregnancy, Lucia’s birthday (April 21). It was taken in front of the birth center only 4.5 hours before she was born!

Other pregnancy updates:

  • Total weight gained so far: 17 pounds
  • Fun baby developments: She’s probably around 20 inches long and in the 8-9 pound range. Her skull bones haven’t yet fused (to allow for passage through the birth canal) and her hair/nails are still growing and her lungs are continuing to develop, getting ready for that first wail of life!

A Baby Story [Part II]: Week 39

Week 39: Baby’s the size of a mini watermelon

Like the past few weeks, this week has been quite the roller coaster emotionally. Each day I’m anxious about whether or not it’s the last day of the pregnancy and the logistics of getting Sirena situated with childcare and getting me and Kevin to the birth center on time, especially if it’s some crazy hour in the middle of the night. Towards the end of week 39 I was treated by my friend Kim to a wonderful prenatal massage which was downright heavenly. I also decided to treat myself to a manicure (something that I’ve done only a handful of times in my life!) and it felt really good to do these types of things especially so late in the pregnancy when so much of my physical/emotional/mental energy is focused on another living being (beings if you count Sirena too!) besides myself.

As I publish this blog post I’m actually at Lucia’s due date: April 15 (40 weeks pregnant to the day). It’s a bit surreal to be writing this post because never did I think I’d make it to her due date! Sirena was a week early and I thought that meant something but it obviously doesn’t mean much. Today we had our 40 week prenatal appointment and I was met with some less-than-stellar news after my internal exam: Lucia actually has not dropped like I thought she had a couple of weeks ago. She’s still pretty high up there and hasn’t dropped into my pelvis yet. It’s hard to believe because it feels like she’s sitting right on top of my lap when I sit down and I feel intense pressure on my bladder but my body just carries this pregnancy differently and the reality is that this girl ain’t quite ready yet. The midwife said that it could change at any minute especially for a second time mama but I was really hoping/expecting some better news (that she had definitely dropped and I had already started dilating). I have another prenatal appointment on Monday (40.5 weeks) for a non-stress test for the baby and to talk about possibly sweeping the membranes if we decide to go that route to help move things along. At our next visit we’ll also schedule a follow-up visit for that following Thursday to check on the progress of things. The midwife suggested some homeopathic tablets for labor preparation which I decided to try out and will be taking them twice a day until Lucia’s born.

Each night as Kevin and I put Sirena to bed I get emotional thinking about the fact that it may be the last time I kiss her goodnight before the craziness of newborn days begins and I’m no longer just mama to Sirena. I’m trying my best to enjoy each and every moment of our time together (tantrums and all, haha) because I know this reality is quickly coming to an end. Although the thought of her and Lucia being buddies and playing together and loving each other brings me so much joy, I know that the alone time I have had with Sirena has been so special and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. <3

Belly shot!


Other pregnancy updates:

  • Total weight gained so far: 17 pounds
  • Fun baby developments: She’s probably around 20 inches long and between 7-8 pounds. She’s probably able to flex her limbs now and her brain is still rapidly developing, getting smarter by the week!

A Baby Story [Part II]: Week 38

Week 38: Baby’s the size of a pumpkin

This week started off with our 38 week prenatal appointment–Sirena tagged along again and midwife Elizabeth was really great about including her in all aspects of the visit including helping her get all of the materials out, measuring my belly, squirting the goopy stuff on my belly so that she could use the fetal heart doppler machine, and cleaning my belly off afterwards. 🙂 The midwife felt Lucia and confirmed she’s still in the heads-down position and she thinks she was around 7 pounds at the time. My belly is still measuring a week behind but everything else is showing signs of good progress so there’s no worry there.

IMG_3938Sirena showing off her “I visited with my mommy’s midwife today” sticker!

I finally tackled one huge item off my to-do list this week which was prepare three meals to store in the freezer for when Lucia’s here so that we don’t have to worry for a week at least about making dinner. The midwives also suggest bringing a meal for Kevin and me (especially me) to eat after the birth so one of those meals is for us to chow down on. I remember how hungry I was after Sirena was born and because it’s not a hospital setting with a full kitchen they won’t be providing us food and if it’s 3am we may not be able to get anything so it’s best for us to prepare ahead and being a meal to eat. I made sure to make it protein and carb heavy for the marathon I’m about to embark on!

IMG_3953Two of the three meals I made–Spinach tortellini + tomato soup and Italian rice and beans (not pictured: Tahini lemon rice and beans)

This past week has felt like a roller coaster for me. It was my last few days of work which had me overwhelmed, stressed beyond measure, and frankly just tapped out. After signing off for work for 3 months (hallelujah!) the start of my maternity leave began with a couple of days being with Sirena on my own which isn’t anything new and I generally love our “Mommy + Sirena time” but she has been going through a somewhat difficult phase (outright saying “no” when I ask her to do something, yelling and trying to hit me when I put my foot down, and an emotional meltdown when she doesn’t get her way) which also left me running on empty. After the weekend I was blessed with two full days off–from work and, I hate to say it, but from Sirena too while my mom watched her on Monday and she was in preschool on Tuesday. These past two days have been incredible–I don’t have to worry about being anywhere, doing anything in particular, or anyone else’s needs but my own. I could nap when I wanted to (glorious I tell you!) and I’ve felt so relaxed the past two days, something that I guess I haven’t felt in a long (long) time that Kevin even noticed how different I’ve been acting. I appreciate this little baby Lucia for giving me at least two days to recharge and refuel, it’s been so nice. But I keep telling her that I don’t need too much time off before her arrival because I want to spend as much time of my maternity leave with her as possible. She’s the boss, though!

A few people in my family (including me) thought that Easter Sunday might be the day Lucia decided to make her grand appearance which, obviously, didn’t happen. I also thought she might decide to share a birthday with her Papa George (Kevin’s dad) which was yesterday and again that obviously didn’t happen. It’s funny how many people keep asking me where the baby is and if I’m still pregnant when we aren’t even at her due date yet but since Sirena was a week early and since Lucia dropped 1.5 weeks ago I guess it makes sense that everyone thinks she should be here any minute! I’m doing my best to just trust her and not get myself worked up as each day passes. During Sirena’s pregnancy, this was the last blog post I wrote before she was born. The following day (when I began week 39 which is tomorrow) my water broke and then she was born the following day (so Thursday of this week). Crazy! These final weeks/days of pregnancy are a trip–so much anticipation and anxiety and excitement! Many times throughout the day I think, “This might be my last time __ before Lucia’s born” which trips me out. Trying to soak up these last days (hopefully just days) of being a mama of one and living this life as I know it.

I’ll end this blog post with a gratuitous photo of Sirena who climbed into Lucia’s Rock ‘n Play sleeper, pretended to drink from a toy bottle, all while wearing her “Big Sis” outfit, lol!


 Belly shot!


 Other pregnancy updates:

  • Total weight gained so far: 17 pounds
  • How I’m feeling physically: Overall pretty good! Still tired each day but as long as I get a little nap in the afternoon I’m good for the rest of the day. Another possible sign that her arrival is approaching is that for the past three days my pelvic bones have felt really sore like things are loosening up in preparation for childbirth.
  • Fun baby developments: She measures around 20 inches and weighs somewhere in the 7-8 pound range but who really knows until she’s born!
  • Days until our next prenatal appointment: 2!
  • Days until due date: 8! (April 15)

A Baby Story [Part II]: Weeks 36 + 37

Week 36: Baby’s the size of a honeydew melon

We had our prenatal appointment this week and I’m soooo happy to report that Lucia’s in a heads-down position (woohoo!) The midwife wasn’t 100% certain just by touch so she busted out the ultrasound machine to verify that the hard bump she was feeling at the top of my uterus was her booty and not her head (lol!) Kevin got a good look at her round head but other than that, not much to report with the u/s itself. The midwife gave us our checklist of things to watch for in terms of signs of labor, when to call the office, what to bring with us, etc. and we made weekly appointments for the next 5 weeks (hopefully we won’t be needing all of those appointments!)

The past week I spent a long while making a master checklist and crossing items off one by one–things to take to the birth center, last minute baby items, postpartum recovery items–and I’m happy to report that just about everything has been purchased and put where it needs to be. One more week until we’re officially eligible to birth at the birth center but as of now at least we’re ready to go when the time comes!

The last big thing we did this week was take some maternity/family photos. I asked my sister Jessie to snap some shots of us and we used good ol’ Pinterest as inspiration for some of the shots and I am so so so happy with how they turned out. Here are my faves:





We can’t wait to meet you, baby girl!


Belly shot!




Week 37: Baby’s the size of a four grapefruits

This week started off with our 37 week prenatal appointment and Sirena and Grandma both came along–Sirena wanted to hear the baby’s heartbeat and Grandma wanted to check out the birth center before the big day! Midwife Alison asked Sirena if she wanted to help her listen to the heartbeat and Sirena enthusiastically said yes. She got to hold the handheld fetal heart doppler, turn it on, and hang onto it while the midwife searched for the heartbeat. She smiled so big when we finally heard it and she agreed that it sounded like a little helicopter in my belly. My belly is measuring slightly behind schedule but there’s no concern there. Everything is looking good (blood pressure, weight, baby’s heart rate, etc.) and I’m just so happy that we made it to this point so that we’re officially eligible to birth at the birth center!

My co-workers threw me a little baby shower which was so thoughtful and it was a nice little celebration in my second to last week of work. This week was also one of the more stressful weeks at work that I’ve had in a long time and I’m glad it’s now behind me. I’m training two people to take over for me while I’m on leave which is great but it was also overwhelming trying to think of everything I do and everything they need to know while also not being able to do the normal day-to-day work that was still needing my attention. I’m so looking forward to putting my out-of-office message on for the next 3ish months! 🙂

The big news this week is that Lucia has most definitely dropped! When I sit down it feels like she’s sitting right on top of my lap and it’s hard to bend straight over, I have to bend my knees outwards to make room for my belly. The pressure on my bladder is also super intense–not 30 minutes after I go to the bathroom I feel this intense urge to pee again because she’s pressing down directly on it. Sirena dropped one week before her birth. As I write this post it’s been a week since she dropped so we’ll see how long she’ll hang down low with her mama!

I read and reread the second half of Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth book three times the past few weeks which I cannot recommend enough to any pregnant woman (whether or not their goal is to have a natural, unmedicated birth). The second half of the book is filled with so much wisdom from “America’s leading midwife” Ina May and it has helped immensely in my ability to get me in the right head space while preparing for another natural birth. I am hopeful that with this knowledge, the affirmations I’ve written down from it and continue to read through, and with the support of the midwives at the birth center (such a vastly different environment than the hospital Sirena was born at) that not only will I be able to have another natural birth (I’m not too concerned about that) but that it will be a much more pleasant and rewarding experience and that my physical and emotional recovery from it will be a thousand times better. One affirmation that I continue to repeat to myself and I know will go through my head over and over again during labor is: This is my healing birth.

Belly shot!

wk37This week she’s the size of 4 grapefruits…at 24 weeks she was the size of just one grapefruit. Check out the major difference in my belly from week 24!

Other pregnancy updates:

  • Total weight gained so far: 16 pounds
  • Fun baby developments: She is officially full-term!  Her most crucial functions are developed and now she’s just getting stronger and chubbier (just the way we like ‘em!)  She probably weighs 6.5 pounds and still measures around 20 inches long.
  • How I’m emotionally and physically feeling: I’m so tired all the darn time–sleep is hard to come by at night (at least long stretches of it without having to maneuver thisaway and thataway to get comfortable or having to get up to go to the bathroom) and I cannot stop my body from sweating like crazy all day long. I’ve felt like I’ve been on an emotional roller coaster lately too–some days I wake up super irritable and it’s hard to shake it off while other times I feel like I’m constantly on the verge of tears. Work has been beyond overwhelming and I’m hopeful that once I’m officially on maternity leave (see below) there will be some relief in the stress/emotional department.
  • Number of days left at work: One as of tonight!! Halle-freakin’-lujah.